YouTube is experimenting with a new tool that will auto-detect products that appear in users’ videos, and then provide pertinent links to related content below.
In addition to detected products, YouTube will also suggest videos containing “related products,” it says, with the list of items appearing in between recommended videos below the video player (pictured above). The test is only being conducted with select users in the U.S., and YouTube did not explain how the detection technology will function.
9 To 5 Google notes that YouTube was testing an early version of this feature — dubbed ‘Products In This Video‘ — in the middle of last year, though this marks an expansion and a slightly different take.
The former test took users off of YouTube to sites where they could complete their transactions of auto-detected products, per 9 To 5 Google. In the latest version of the test, however, YouTube is surfacing content recommendations from other channels and creators that have made videos about auto-detected products — targeting viewers who are researching an item prior to purchase.
In a February blog post, YouTube chief product officer Neal Mohan hinted at new ecommerce capabilities without disclosing specifics.
“As consumer shopping habits increasingly shift to digital, we have an opportunity to meet the growing demand for e-commerce,” he wrote. “We’re beta testing a new integrated shopping experience that allows viewers to tap into the credibility and knowledge of trusted creators to make informed purchases directly on YouTube.”